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Qantas resuming trans-Pacific A380 flights

Jan. 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM
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SYDNEY, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Qantas is resuming flights of the A380 to Los Angeles after getting approval from Australia's safety regulator, the airline's chief executive officer said.

Alan Joyce said the airline will reintroduce the A380 into its network, with 14 flights weekly operating for the rest of January, including four to the United States starting Sunday.

The airline grounded the planes in November after a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine blew up one of them after takeoff from Singapore, The Australian reported. It soon resumed flights to London but held off on flying the big planes across the Pacific because of fears about running the engines at maximum thrust.

Rolls-Royce recently cleared the engines for the maximum 72,000-pound thrust and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority backed the recommendation Tuesday.

"The decision not to operate Los Angeles services allowed us to gain further operational experience before deploying the A380 on these routes,'' Joyce said. "In close consultation with Rolls-Royce, we are now confident that we can begin flying the A380 to and from Los Angeles without any conditions on the use of maximum engine thrust.''

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